Amidst the allegations of sexual harassment against a teacher identified as Rajagopalan of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School’s KK Nagar branch in Chennai, PSBB has issued a statement on May 24 in which they denied knowledge of any such allegations.
The statement from PSBB.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) May 24, 2021
It now rests with the students to actually take this forward legally. The screenshots of the man walking into an (online) class in his towel is appalling.
BTW – YG Madhuvanti has nothing to do with PSBB KKN. Her family has their own school. pic.twitter.com/qH4Cc3kLv4
The letter reads, “We would like to assure you that our school has zero tolerance towards any behaviour that adversely affects the physical, emotional and psychological well being of our students.” It further reads, “Contrary to what is mentioned, these kinds of allegations have not been brought to the attention of the management in the past. However, we are taking suo motu notice of the allegations and will take all necessary steps to address the situation in a free, fair and transparent manner.”
It has to be noted that in the stories posted by an individual on Instagram, several students have mentioned that they had contacted the authorities, but no one paid heed to the complaints. On the contrary, the students have alleged that the school administration threatened them against raising their voice over sexual harassment as it would ruin their future.
Alumni wrote to the school administration
PBSS alumni came forward in support of the students and demanded action against the teacher. They wrote a letter to the school administration addressing Sheela Rajendra, Dean, PBSS and demanded immediate suspension of Rajagopalan.
The letter reads, “It has come to our attention that Mr Rajagopalan, who teaches Accountancy and Business Studies in PSBB KK Nagar, and has been a faculty member for over 20 years, has been behaving in an extremely inappropriate manner with students, making repeated sexual advances, making sexually coloured remarks, and has breached the boundaries of the student-teacher relationship through his conduct.”
Statement by Alumnus of PSBB earlier. pic.twitter.com/xjfAFuF6Cf— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) May 24, 2021
They listed down the allegations made by the students, including the incident where he attended virtual class in a towel. The immediate demands that former students stated before the school administration include immediate suspension of Rajagopala as a teacher of PSBB KK Nagar, pending investigation, ensure he is not allowed to grade any students’ unit tests or any other examinations, ensure child protection committee, as well as the gender sensitivity committee, investigate the case, and the identity of the students is protected. In case Rajagopalan resigns, he must join the investigation.
They also demanded that if proven guilty, he must be dealt with appropriate law. The alumnus said in the letter that predators like Rajagopalan should not exist in any educational institute, and the school must take immediate action.
Leaders promise support
Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, MP, posted a series of tweets expressing her shock over the incident and promised to take the case to the concerned authorities. She said, “The sexual harassment allegations against a commerce teacher in PSBB School, Chennai, has been shocking. An inquiry should be conducted, and action must be taken against those who are involved, including school authorities who failed to act against the complaints from students.”
I promise to take this to the concerned authorities.— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) May 24, 2021
சென்னை பி.எஸ்.பி.பி பள்ளியில் ஒரு ஆசிரியர் மாணவர்களை பாலியல் துன்புறுத்தல் செய்வதாக எழுந்துள்ள புகார் என்னை அதிர்ச்சிக்குள்ளாக்கியது. சம்பந்தப்பட்டவர்களை விசாரித்து குற்றம் செய்தவர் மீதும், (2/3)